Six traders monopolize importing grain in Yemen, Domestic production fell by 130%

English - Wednesday 23 January 2019 الساعة 07:37 am
Aden –

Cereal production in Yemen have declined by 130% between 2012 and 2017. Cereal production, including wheat, gradually declined from 250,264 tons to 95,651 tons during the same period, a decline of 16.6% annually.

"Wheat in Yemen, Growing Food Gap Despite Economic Feasibility," that is obtained by Newsyemen showed that self-sufficiency fell less than 5 percent to reach the food gap of wheat crop more than 3 million metric tons per a year.

Fuel prices and production inputs, poor agricultural extension services and limited financial incentives for farmers are an obstacle to increased wheat production, which plays a vital role in supporting food security and combating poverty in Yemen.

Yemen has become dependent on imports to meet more than 95 percent of its wheat consumption needs, compounding threats to food security in a country where about 53 percent of its population (15.9 million) is suffering from acute food insecurity.

Wheat is the main strategic commodity for food security in Yemen, but local wheat production is limited and shrinking, as population consumption needs grow. Local wheat prices rose by 377.4% between January 2015 and October 2018.

The study, which is prepared by the Economic Studies and Forecasts Sector of the Ministry of Planning in cooperation with UNICEF, estimated the local needs of wheat and wheat flour imports at 350,000 metric tons per a month.

Yemen imports most of the wheat from Australia, America and Russia, and its import bill worries the economy and the national currency, exceeding $ 700 million annually. The number of active wheat importers is about 6-7 importers in Yemen, reflecting the monopoly's state that prevails in the wheat import market.

Wheat has become one of the most important food crops that is imported by the private commercial sector, or in a form of humanitarian aid is given to Yemen, which reflects fundamentally wrong to secure the main important commodity for the Yemeni people.

The study recommended the importance of allocating part of the food donor's in-kind assistance to support farmers of wheat and other grain to turn food aid consumers to producers of essential crops.